A.J. Kramer, Esquire

2019 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the D.C. Circuit

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA–A.J. Kramer, Esquire has been selected to receive the prestigious 2019 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the D.C. Circuit. Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will present the award during the Judicial Conference of the D.C. Circuit on June 27 in Cambridge, Maryland.

Kramer has been the federal public defender for Washington, D.C., since the office was created in 1990. “Over the course of his almost 30 years as our federal public defender, Mr. Kramer has displayed sterling character, unquestioned integrity, and dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law,” says Garland, who nominated Kramer for the award. “Mr. Kramer’s reputation in the legal community is stellar.”

Since Kramer’s initial term, the court has unanimously reappointed him seven times. Described by a fellow attorney as “utterly devoted to the cause of indigent criminal defense,” Kramer frequently represents defendants in court himself, providing what one nominator called “a level of criminal defense equal to, if not better than, the level to be expected by the finest private practitioners….”

In addition to trying cases himself, Kramer oversees a team of assistant federal public defenders. “His lawyers work hard, do a great job for their clients, and seem happy with their work, as is evidenced by how long most of [them] have been employed there,” says a judge who submitted comments as part of Kramer’s latest reappointment. “They are an absolutely first-rate group of lawyers, and A.J. deserves a lot of credit for that.”

A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Kramer is deeply committed to teaching the next generation of lawyers. He serves on the permanent faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia.

Before coming to Washington, Kramer spent seven years as an assistant federal public defender in San Francisco and then three years as the chief assistant federal public defender in Sacramento. Before that, he clerked for Judge Procter Hug, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Reno, Nevada. Kramer graduated from Stanford University in 1975 and received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 1979. He is an alumnus of the William B. Bryant American Inn of Court.